The structural condition assessment of the Spillway Bridge ensures this notable piece of infrastructure will remain in service over the 50 years for local and visiting communities to enjoy.
Client: Water Security Agency

Location: Cutbank, SK

Project Type: Structures

About This Project

The Gardiner Dam is the third largest earth-filled dam in Canada and one of Saskatchewan’s largest pieces of infrastructure. It plays a key role in flood mitigation and formed a popular tourism spot, Diefenbaker Lake.

In 2018, ISL was retained by the Water Security Agency (WSA) to carry out a structural condition assessment and load capacity evaluation of the Spillway Bridge that spans the Gardiner Dam to identify remaining service life and discuss options for rehabilitating the bridge to ensure this notable piece of infrastructure remains in service over the next 50 years.


ISL performed rigorous visual inspection methods and testing using procedures outlined in the Ontario Structure Inspection Manual (OSIM) and Alberta Transportation’s Bridge Inspection and Maintenance (BIM) System Manual.

The expected service life of each bridge component was estimated using a probabilistic analysis of chloride induced corrosion and damage development over time. A load evaluation was conducted using the current Canadian Highway Bridge Design Code and the Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure Bridge Design Criteria for rating vehicles.

WSA was hopeful to receive multiple options for rehabilitation as previous years of testing had been producing the same results. Using thorough analysis, ISL was able to produce four different rehabilitation options, all taking into account traffic disruptions, maximization of service life and cost. With the options provided, WSA can take the steps required to ensure the continued enjoyment of this iconic piece of infrastructure and the subsequent Diefenbaker Lake by visitors for years to come.

Integrated Expertise

  • Structural Engineering
  • Supporting Services

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